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At Home

Rules of etiquette or good manners are different in different communities. For example, belching after a meal is okay in China, but bad manners in the West. Shaking hands is good manners abroad but in India, the traditional `namaste` is favoured. Eating with the fingers is common in our country, but frowned upon elsewhere in the world.

However, good manners have a lot to do with being considerate and sympathetic towards others` feelings. That is a human value and has little to do with custom. Standing at the back of a lift if you have to get off on the second floor and then pushing your way out, is bad manners. Good manners is a combination of consideration, custom and common sense.

Home is where you first learn to interact with other people. People feel that one can behave in any way one likes with one`s family members. But that is wrong! Everybody in a household should respect the rights and feelings of everybody else. Another important part of family good manners is sharing. You share the TV set, telephone and the bathroom and maybe a bedroom, a cupboard or a desk. You share the chores. This means doing your bit, cleaning up after yourself and sharing the responsibility for the safety of everyone in the house.

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